Ex-Cowboy Now A Super Bowl Champ

Charlie Johnson saw his share of duty as a backup offensive tackle for the Indianapolis Colts this past season in his rookie year in the NFL. The ex-Oklahoma State standout played most of Super Bowl XLI after an injury to starter Ryan Diem in the Indianapolis Colts 29-17 victory. GoPokes.com's Robert Allen interviewed the former Cowboy Tuesday morning on the Triple Play Sports Radio network.

Johnson, a sixth-round selection by the Colts in the 2006 NFL Draft, didn't have much time to get nervous when Diem suffered a sprained ankle shortly before halftime of Sunday's championship game in Miami. And it's a good thing because right after entering the game his responsibility on a running play was to block Chicago's outstanding middle linebacker Brian Urlacher.

"I do remember that," Johnson said when asked about the play in which he took Urlacher off his feet. "That's a play we worked on earlier in the week. We knew if we lined up a certain way they were going to stunt the line one way and the linebacker was going to come down hill hard. We got the look, they ran it and he came right to me and I just sorta did my job and put him down. After the play was over he got up and was like, ‘Nice blocking,' and that made me feel good."

That one play wasn't the only nice blocking that Johnson and his Colt offensive line teammates did against the Bears. The Colts rushed for 191 yards on 42 carries, including Dominic Rhodes gaining 113 yards and a touchdown on 21 attempts, against the tough-nosed Bear defense. It was the fourth time in as many postseason games that the Colts had outrushed their opponent.

The 6-4, 305-pound Johnson did his part in helping the Colts control the clock throughout the game. The former Cowboy from Sherman, Texas, received his share of recognition after the game.

"The other four (offensive line) starters came up to me (after the game) and were saying nothing but good things to me. (General manager) Bill Polian and (owner) Jim Irsay were telling me I did a great job. Everybody was telling me what a great job I did. I don't know what to say to that," Johnson said. "I like it and I like it that they acknowledge the fact that they think I did a good job, but the kind of person I am I really don't know how to respond ... It makes me feel good. I'm always thinking of ways I could have done better. That's just the way I am. I appreciate all the good comments I received."

Johnson prepared in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl as if he was going to see his share of playing time. It paid off for him and the Colts on Sunday.

"That's just my job, to be ready. I approach every week as if I'm the starter. That's what I've done all year," he said. " This was just a situation where the guy in front of me got a little banged up and couldn't go. (Ryan) told me it was my time, and I just went in and I just tried to play as well as I could. I think I played pretty well, and we got the win. It was a good moment for me."

Being a member of the Super Bowl champions still hasn't sunk in on the 22-year-old Johnson, even though it's been nearly 48 hours since the game was played.

"I'm still waiting to wake up. Yesterday (Monday) I was thinking I was going to wake up at the hotel, it was going to be Sunday, we had to go through pregame ... I thought I was dreaming. I still think that way. I still don't think it's sunk it, and I don't know if it will sink in until I actually get the ring," Johnson said.

The television cameras showed Hall of Fame coach Don Shula carrying the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the platform to be presented to Irsay, Polian and head coach Tony Dungy. Johnson was seen reaching out to touch the trophy as Shula passed by him. But (as the photo with this story shows) that wasn't the last time he got a chance to touch the trophy.

"Actually, after the ceremony, I made sure I got my hands on it and got a lot of pictures with it. Those will be some keepsakes," he said.

Johnson spent the first three years of his collegiate career as a tight end, catching 20 passes for 233 yards and four touchdowns. But he moved to the offensive tackle as a senior prior to the 2005 season, and started eight games for the Cowboys to earn All-Big 12 recognition. Johnson started 26 games during his career at OSU – eight as a senior, nine at tight end as a junior, four as a sophomore, and five his freshman season.

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